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Let us finish Cardington fire research says concrete expert


RESEARCH ABANDONED when the large-scale fire-testing facility at Cardington in Bedfordshire closed three years ago must be completed, a leading concrete expert said this week.

Former head of the European Concrete Building Project Peter Campbell said that if Cardington owner BRE would give researchers access to the test building, he 'would be out there drumming up financial support again'.

Campbell raised £1.7M from the UK construction industry for the fi rst programme of research in the late 1990s, which focused mainly on the building process.

'This produced eight best practice guides, ' Campbell said. 'But then we wanted to concen ate on all aspects of performance, including fire testing. This research would be very important to the construction industry.'

BRE closed Cardington in 2002 for cost reasons (NCE 27 October). But it said this week that it could still carry out large-scale fi e tests at its Middlesbrough site, which is much cheaper to run.

The shed is about half the size of Cardington, with a maximum height of 40m, and access is conditional on the approval of the owner, as the BRE does not lease it on a long-term basis.

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